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EgyptAir Wreckage Found In Mediterranean

  • RFE/RL

The EgyptAir Airbus 320, which disappeared from radar over the Mediterranean sea on May 19, is pictured in Vienna in August 2015.

The EgyptAir Airbus 320, which disappeared from radar over the Mediterranean sea on May 19, is pictured in Vienna in August 2015.

The Egyptian Army says wreckage of the missing EgyptAir Flight 804 has been found in the Mediterranean Sea.

An army spokesman said on Facebook that Egyptian jets and naval vessels found "personal belongings" of passengers and pieces of the Airbus A320 about 290 kilometers north of Alexandria.

A massive search was being conducted for the plane, which disappeared from radar over the Mediterranean Sea en route from Paris to Cairo with 66 people onboard on May 19 in what Egypt says may have been a terrorist attack.

Egyptian officials earlier withdrew an initial claim that Greece's military had found Flight 804 wreckage off the Greek island of Crete, saying it "is not a part of our plane."

In France, Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault said on May 20 that there is "absolutely no indication" of the cause of the crash.

White House officials echoed that statement, saying it was too early to determine what caused the tragedy.

But some Egyptian officials said it could have been a terrorist attack and that the passenger list was being examined to determine if any extremists may have been aboard.

French President Francois Hollande said earlier that no hypothesis on the cause of the crash was being ruled out or favored.

The civilian aircraft was carrying 56 passengers and 10 crew members and was flying at an altitude of 11,300 meters when it disappeared from radar over the Mediterranean Sea.

Greek aviation officials said its air traffic controllers had spoken to the pilot a few minutes earlier and everything had appeared normal.

But Greece's Defense Minister Panos Kammenos later said the plane made a 90-degree turn to the left and then spun 360-degrees to the right, falling nearly 7,000 meters before the radar signal was lost.

With reporting by Reuters, AP, and AFP
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